Facebook Blocks Complaints About Its Own Misleading Ads

By , March 18, 2012

Facebook’s advertising system has always had one nice feature for consumers: if you mouse over the right margin of any ad, an “X” appears, and if you click on the “X” you can ask not to see that ad in the future. In addition, you can “report” your reason, designating whether you simply find the ad “uninteresting,” or you can flag the ad as “misleading” or “sexually explicit” (among other options).

But Facebook has exempted its own ads from this “opt-out” system, and has deliberately prevented users from complaining about misleading ads by Facebook itself.

Here’s an example: Facebook is running an ad promising that you can “Get $4 for free in CivWorld.”  If you click through on the ad, you’ll learn that the deal is actually “pay $1 for $5 in credits.” The ad is misleading and dishonest. But since it’s a “house ad,” Facebook prevents users from asking not to see this deceptive offer again.

Above: Facebook’s “house ad” for CivWorld doesn’t allow “opting out.”

Below: The opt-out for regular ads, plus the list of reasons available.


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